October 9th, 2007
09:20 AM ET
10 years ago

Clinton spars with questioner over Iran

Listen to Clinton's verbal spat with a Iowa voter over the weekend.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton often holds several town-hall events a day as she campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination. But a particular gathering in northern Iowa Sunday is the subject of several media reports after the New York Democrat engaged in a verbal tussle with a questioner over Iran.

At an event in New Hampton, Iowa, a questioner took issue with Clinton's recent Senate vote calling on President Bush to formally call the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. He argued that such a distinction confers the president with the ability to invade the country.

"Why should I support your candidacy . . . if it appears you haven't learned from your past mistakes?" the questioner asked, referring to Clinton's vote to authorize the use of military force in Iraq.

Clinton began by telling the questioner "the premise of the question is wrong," and argued the measure calls for the terrorist label so that sanctions can be imposed. The sanctions, she also said, will in turn "send a clear message to the leadership" and lead to stronger diplomatic efforts.

The Democratic presidential front-runner then concluded by suggesting the question was planted, saying, "somebody obviously sent it to you."

Rolph denied anyone had put him to the question.

"I take exception," Rolph fired back. "This is my own research. Nobody sent it to me, I am offended that you would suggest that."

"Let me finish," Clinton sharply responded, before saying "I apologize, I just have been asked the very same question in three other places."

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Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa
soundoff (308 Responses)
  1. Tammy Brauner, Weston, Florida

    My oh my Hillary Clinton sure has certain political runners,leaders etc. running scared! What's wrong Washington, can't handle someone who knows what they're doing, little alone... A STRONG WOMEN.....you better run because she is our next commander in chief!!!!! YAHOO!


    October 9, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. josphine, ks, mo

    It looks like Hillary has been using his campaign fund to pay cnn.....Has someone realized Obama is invisible nowadays....I think the media is to blame for Howard Dean fall. They kept people hiped and that is why he bursted! This is no exception to hillary. Let their emotion not run high in january for he. I predict a major depression.

    October 9, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. Ed, Buffalo, NY

    It is quite obvious that Hillary will do anything for a vote. I mean come on after she found the stats on Hispanics being the fastest growing minority she immediatley began courting them for votes.She does not answer questions directly ...vague at best..and worst of all thinks the American people who pay her salary even as a Senator are too dumb to ask questions about a troubled country and how she intends to repair the damage "if" elected.
    Now we ask ourselves do we continue with the same old same old every 4 yr empty promises and hopes or elect someone , Obama , who is not afraid to buck the system and is a man of action instead of empty words.If we as a country want change then we as a country must take a stand and vote for whats in all of our best interests instead of worrying about party .

    October 9, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Carl, Bronx, NY

    Billary is just like her husband, a BORN LIAR! This woman plays to the crowd. When she's in Harlem, she says what African-Americans want to hear; when she's in rural Ohio, she says what Midwestern whites want to hear. It's sad that the democrats always trot out such tired, passe candidates every four years and it's sad that so many people will vote for this manipulative, deceitful and evasive woman. Four years of Billary could very well be even worse than eight years of GW. People, let's please not make a mistake that will keep this country mired in unnecessary war for another eight years!

    October 9, 2007 09:41 am at 9:41 am |


    October 9, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  6. james, Nyc. Ny

    I am a woman and Hillary never got into my mind. I see her a joker more than Obama. I see Obama going all the way. This guy is sharp. Watch how it will play out. Don't forget Obama didn't know many people in the world than Clinton and here is the media campaining for her. I hate to hear she has won all the time the debate is over after a campaign when the debate is on. The same media has supported bush all the way and I wonder whn Americans will ever have their take.

    October 9, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Carl, Bronx, NY

    Both parties are are almost mirror images of one another. No wonder the dems and repubs are deathly afraid of a third part. A third party would cast serious light on how crooked these two parties really are. Four years of Billary will just be a continuation of Bush, et al.

    October 9, 2007 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. r schier norwalk, ct

    I'll add my vote to the many above:
    That simply being we do not need any
    more Bush's or Clinton's. They are both
    bought out by the same cartel, that chose to cover themselves by placing bets on both sides. That's not to say that most of the other candidates are better....this country desperately needs to rid itself of both parties !!

    October 9, 2007 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  9. sonny c. v.p.,la.

    That would be so unlike the Republican Slime Machine to send disruptive plants against their future opponents. They bekieve in truth,justice & the American Way. Hell, they wear American Flag lapels. They(Rove,Inc.) are PATRIOTS!!!

    October 9, 2007 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Johnny S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Just wait until the compassionate conservative christians start running their 'Swift Boat' attack ads on her. She'll be toast for the neocons. Then they can send someone else's kids to Iran to die for oil.

    October 9, 2007 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. r sisk, nevada

    Good Job Hillary!!! Any person who thinks you will lead us to war with Iran is just an idiot who is scrambling for some scare tactics to sway voters. Get real people!!! Hillary is privy to the fact that 70% of us are opposed to this occupation with Iraq and she is not about to ignore that fact, complicate it further and get us into another disastrous mess with Iran.

    Hillary is most likely going to be the democratic presidential candidate and ALL democrats need to stand behind her and get her into office. Quit making idiotic threats that if she is the nominee "I'm voting for someone else".

    Imagine President Guiliani, Romney, or worst of all, McCain. It's stupid to think the Democrats can't beat these losers in the next election. Any of the Dem. candidates are better choices. We need to band together, no matter who our candidate is.

    October 9, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Peter Greeve, Dallas, Texas

    Some of these comments are laughable. First of all, many of you say this was an extremely important question. Well, where were you 8 or 4 years ago when many of you voted a complete idiot into the White House? There are many, way more important questions that have never and will never be answered.
    Second, the reason she voted for the war was because she had been fed a bunch of total lies. If I was told all these lies I would ahve voted for the war as well. To this day Colin Powell is still sick to his stomach that he believed and helped spread those lies at his famous speech at the UN.
    Second, the sentiment at the time was very pro war. If you spoke against it you were labeled "unpatriotic". Hillary knew of course she was going to run for president and didn't want to risk being labeled "unpatriotic". At the time polls showed that 80% of the country wanted the war. Everyone believed the lies. Obama, who I like and respect as well, has the luxury that he never had to vote for or agaiinst the war. With all the lies he may have voted for the war as well, who knows.
    HIllary will lead this country and has the experience to do so. I don't want another 8 years of religious crap. I want a president who will lead this country in the iddle. Not too much to the left, not too much to the right. Her husband did that and was a great president. No matter what mistakes he made in his private life, he was a good president. Not an extremist. The reality is that we currently face a religious extremist who had lead our country into the abbyss. Everyone hates us and we are stuck in an unwinnable war. No matter how much you are agaisnt the war, we still need someone who can lead us out of there the right way. Hillary has the ability to do that. As far as the inplant I'm glad she had the guts to speak up iso cower down. Good for you Hillary!

    October 9, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  13. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    The whole Iraq mess is so confusing nobody knows what's going on or what's the best move. Blame the guys who dove in and couldn't pull out for that, not the opposition party.

    All the candidates are pretty crummy this time around. By now America would vote for an actual elephant or donkey if it said it would get us out of Iraq.

    October 9, 2007 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  14. Craig Livingstone

    I worked for the Clintons. If, an opponent responded this way, someone like me would develop a strategy to do just that and more to rattle their cage and get them, 'off-their-game.'

    Watch and see, if that scenario develops from 'fellow' democrat candidates or in the general.

    Craig Livingstone
    Former Clinton campaign and WH Staffer

    October 9, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. Chilea

    Why am I not surprised at how she treated this person? And she's supposed to be better than King George? Come on America, wake up before it is too late!

    October 9, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Charlene Kirtley, Oklahoma City, OK

    I would ask the same question if I were in a 'town hall mtg' with her. I would think this is a typical question that she should be more & more familiar being out on the presidential campaign & she should not be so defensive in her response. That's a perfectly legitimate standard question. And Believe me, that is not a 'planted question'. Obviously, she's not relating to us common folks to well.

    I am a staunch Democrat....think & feel like a true blue Democrat....but I'm not sure who I will be voting for, if I vote in this upcoming presidential election.

    Believe me, there's a 1,000 questions I would like to ask her in person.

    October 9, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    In typical political fashion, as if it was a seasonal change in the primary, out come the "verbal assassination" attempts by the other candidates and republicans that want to throw their own monkey wrench into the process. Like a primary ever ran smoothly! Hillary was correct to call the questioner exactly what he was. It's a common practice where a person from another candidate's team sends a specifically worded question to someone attending an event in an effort to fumble them up. They sometimes even take a training class in how to do this effectively. After listening to the combative questioner I would have to come to the same conclusion... he recieved the question from another candidate's team.

    But to answer some people's questions on this bill labeling Iran's "Revolutionary Guard Corp's" a terrorist organization. First off, it isn't an authorization to go to war. You need a clear "declaration of war" passed by congress for this to occur as stated by the War Powers Resolution(1973). All of the recent wars including the Iraq war has followed this resolution.

    Secondly, this bill only defines this organization, which by the way has been shipping and funding the more technically advanced IEDs that have been killing our troops in Iraq, as a terrorist organization. And if you define terrorism as the funding and equiping of an insurgent force in an attempt to kill troops, civilians, etc. without engaging in clear war then the Revolutionary Guard Corp's are clearing doing this.

    The Iran Revolutionary Guard Corp's are a mercenary organization within Iran that is not completely under their government's control. Their primary mission is to protect the Islamic "revolution" which occurred back in 1979. Since then they operate extraterritorily to bring about these ends. This includes forming militant groups and arming them as have been seen in Iraq.

    Labeling them what they are is hardly difficult. But is a necessary step in approaching sanctions against Iran.

    Telling it like I see it,

    October 9, 2007 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  18. Bud Doylestown, Pa.

    Rolph clearly needs to get a life. I question what he does in his spare time with the sheep on his farm and I'll bet he can't wait to have George Bush's baby.

    October 9, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. joseph, austin, tx

    I dont like hillary at all, nor would i vote for any of the current dems, but if their are iranian military men, killing american women and men, then why wouldnt they be labled a terrorist organization. They are KILLING OUR TROOPS.

    October 9, 2007 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    Busted! About damn time someone confronts this power hungry fraud!

    October 9, 2007 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Shawanna


    October 9, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. RightyTighty

    Hillary has already voted to give Bush the power to invade Iran. Read it and weep dems..

    October 9, 2007 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  23. Lyle, Columbia, SC

    Typical Clinton. Like other people in this country cannot have a rational thought. A lot of people I know have the same questions on the Iran issue and whether the president and congress are ramping up the rhetoric for a strike at Iran.

    October 9, 2007 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  24. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Wow, she's pure evil, cackles, and doesn't have pretty legs. Sounds exactly like the LAST FOUR PRESIDENTS, doesn't it?

    I guess only a really pretty president can save America now. Rudy, get out the face powder again.

    October 9, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. Paul G. Tucker GA

    I think it's hilarious that the republican party is so afraid of the Clintons. It's also ironic that the steps Dubya and Cheney have taken will make her the most powerful president in history. The republicans are running full tilt afraid, and everyone knows it. They've been a complete failure. Full of corruption and sexual scandals. The party of Lincoln has become the party of corruption.

    October 9, 2007 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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